Butuan City submits report to DILG on controversial vessel

Published July 23, 2021, 10:59 AM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – The local government of Butuan City said Thursday (July 22) that it has submitted its narrative report regarding the docking of the vessel from Indonesia at the Masao Port to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The Albay-bound vessel M/V Claudia docked at the port in Barangay Lumbocan on July 14. Twelve of the 20 crew members who underwent swab testing were later found positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Butuan City Administrator Rey Desiata said no coordination was made between the city government and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and other agencies.

“Usa ka adlaw una pa miabot ang barko dunay natigayong meeting nga gipangunahan sa PPA manager, Port Police ug Pilot harbor personnel ug agent. Nasabutan sa meeting nga idugang ang RT-PCR test sa protocol alang sa mga crew sa barko (A day before the ship docked, a meeting led by the PPA manager, port police and pilot harbor personnel, and a ship’s agent was held. It was decided in the meeting to include the RT-PCR test as part of the protocol for the ship’s crew members),” a statement from the city government on Thursday said.

“Ang agent nga may paryenteng swabber gikan sa D.O.P molecular laboratory sa Patin-ay, Prosperidad Agusan del Sur lakip ang duha pa ka kauban ang mipahigayon sa pag swab sa mga crew (The agent of the ship has a relative working as a swabber at Democrito O. Plaza molecular laboratory in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. The swabber and two other colleagues from the laboratory were the ones who conducted the test among the crew members),” it added. Patin-ay is about 77 kilometers away from Butuan City.

According to the LGU, there were also personnel from the Bureau of Customs Surigao City who checked on the vessel.

“Unom ka indibidwal ang misakay sa tug boat aron magsusi sa mga materyal nga anaa sa barge (Six individuals took a tug boat to check on the materials inside the barge),” it added.

The results of the test where the 12 crew members tested positive for COVID-19 was released on July 16, a day after the vessel left the Masao Port. The city government said the vessel left for Legazpi, Albay on the evening of July 15.

In an earlier interview with The Manila Bulletin, Desiata said they were only informed of the arrival of the ship from Indonesia after they received a call from the regional office of the Department of Health on July 16 about the clustering of COVID-19 cases in Barangay Lumbocan.

Desiata said three crew members went to the public market in the morning while a Zamboanga-bound crew member took the public bus to Cagayan de Oro City.

The city government said they have already completed the contact tracing and placed several individuals under quarantine, including the three swabbers, three agents of the vessel, personnel of the Bureau of Quarantine, Bureau of Customs, and plant quarantine officers, among others.

“Gi abisuhan ang pamunuan sa Masao Port nga pahugtan pa ang seguridad labina kung dunay mga backdoor entries (The management of the Masao Port has been advised to implement strict security protocols at the port especially to check if there are backdoor entries),” it added.